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Coastal Erosion UPSC NOTE


Coastal Erosion

  • Coastal erosion is the loss or displacement of land, or the long-term removal of sediment and rocks along the coastline.

  • It is due to the action of waves, currents, tides, wind-driven water, waterborne ice, or other impacts of storms.

  • Coastal erosion may be caused by hydraulic action, abrasion, impact and corrosion by wind and water, and other forces, natural or unnatural.

  • On non-rocky coasts, coastal erosion results in rock formations in areas where the coastline contains rock layers or fracture zones with varying resistance to erosion. 

  • Softer areas become eroded much faster than harder ones, which typically result in landforms such as tunnels, bridges, columns, and pillars.

  • Over time the coast generally evens out. 

  • The softer areas fill up with sediment eroded from hard areas, and rock formations are eroded away. 

  • Also erosion commonly happens in areas where there are strong winds, loose sand, and soft rocks. 

  • The blowing of millions of sharp sand grains creates a sandblasting effect. 

  • This effect helps to erode, smooth and polish rocks. 

  • According to the IPCC, sea level rise caused by climate change will increase coastal erosion worldwide, significantly changing the coasts and low-lying coastal areas.

Control methods:

Hard-erosion controls:

  • Seawalls and groynes serve as semi-permanent infrastructure. 

  • These structures are not immune from normal wear-and-tear and will have to be refurbished or rebuilt.

  • Natural forms of hard-erosion control include planting or maintaining native vegetation, such as mangrove forests and coral reefs.

Soft-erosion controls:

  • Soft erosion strategies refer to temporary options of slowing the effects of erosion. 

  • These options, including Sandbag and beach nourishment, are not intended to be long-term solutions or permanent solutions.

  • Another method, beach scraping or beach bulldozing allows for the creation of an artificial dune in front of a building or as means of preserving a building foundation.

  • One of the most common methods of soft erosion control is beach nourishment projects.

  • These projects involve dredging sand and moving it to the beaches as a means of reestablishing the sand lost due to erosion.

  • Dynamic revetment, which uses loose cobble to mimic the function of a natural storm beach, may be a soft-erosion control alternative in high energy environments such as open coastlines.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Coastal Erosion UPSC NOTE
Coastal Erosion UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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